So, you want to be a cheerleader? Well, there are some things you need to ask yourself before you roll into tryouts, like how committed to cheerleading do you want to be? Do you want to be part of a sideline cheer team at your school that has home and away games, or do you want to begin at a non-traveling level? Have you considered the year-round commitment that most teams encourage? If you don’t hesitate to answer these questions, then you’re ready to be a cheerleader! But first, you are going to need a few things. Follow these three “C’s to get you going: 1. Courage. Cheerleading builds confidence‚ there’s no doubt about that! But even if you don’t have much confidence to start out with, you definitely need to have enough courage to put yourself on a team in the first place. It’s scary to put yourself in the spotlight, but if you can overcome the anxiety that tryouts can bring to the table, making the team will be easy! A good thing to do at tryouts is letting the recruiting coach know that you’ve never done cheer before, but how you are a quick learner and will be very dedicated to become a cheerleader. That way, they won’t judge too harshly if you don’t know basic cheer motions. If you want to join a team that requires tryouts, don’t be discouraged if you don’t make the team right away. You still have options like recreational cheerleading until next year, when you can come back and rock tryouts with your new skills! 2. Cheer shoes. Once you’re part of a team (or even before), you have to invest in some quality cheer shoes in order to do everything that your team (or prospective team) asks of you. Some teams have budgets for uniforms, poms, and team jackets, but it’s rare for a team to cover shoe cost. That means, it’s up to you to find the right shoe for you. Luckily, there are a lot of inexpensive options for cheer footwear, like the Chasse Core shoes which are lightweight, breathable, and durable for any level of cheerleader. Since you will start out as a beginner to intermediate cheerleader, you probably won’t be doing a lot of tumbling right off the cuff, so your cheer shoes can be a bit heavier. Leather shoes would also be a great bet for outdoor sidelines. 3. “Can-do’ attitude. No one says cheerleading is easy. It is, however, life-changing and fun! That being said, you will soon find out that most days will be a blast: getting to know your teammates, cheering for the big game, wearing your awesome uniforms around town, and making a difference in your community and at your school in a positive and loving environment. Cheerleading WILL change your life forever. On the other hand, there will be days that are very, very hard. Maybe your coach was yelling at you, or you didn’t hit your mark, or haters criticize you for being a cheerleader. Yep, even cheerleaders have haters! With a can-do attitude, you will be able to shake off insults, setbacks, injuries, and more‚ and make a lot of memories while you’re at it! Cheerleaders never let obstacles stand in their way, so with the right attitude, you’ll be able to accomplish anything that you set your mind to. Do you want to become a cheerleader? Do new cheerleaders need more than these three things to get them started? Share with us in the comments below what you think and how you got started as a cheerleader.